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Parallax - Advice

March 24, 2003

Fooling around?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I am thirty-seven and have been dating a fifty-year-old married man for the past seven months. He is wealthy and his kids are grown. He's getting a divorce and he's paying for my divorce, too. He gave me a ring and asked me to marry him, but he is very careful not to let his wife find out, because of the 'money.' My gut feeling says he is a liar and I am a fool to think he will leave her. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Foolish,

To begin with, you'd be a fool to marry your little cheater. The cliché is true: He will cheat again and next time it will be on you. You are setting yourself up for heartache, but if that is what you want, have him pay for your divorce and whatever other expenses he is inclined to cover. I don't believe you've reeled in any big catch here.

To answer your question directly: Yes, he is a liar. Of course he is a liar. Do you have any idea how many times he has lied to his wife to hide your relationship? He is a pro.

And what would you win with this scenario? A consummate liar and cheater, not to mention a money-mongering ex-husband.

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His view:

Dear Foolish,

Giving you a ring and paying for your divorce are greater signs of commitment than most men in such a situation would be willing to proffer. Why would he go to all that trouble if he just wanted to lead you on? He'd have to be either rather sadistic or rather stupid. On the other hand, your gut feeling is your gut feeling, and you ignore it at your own hazard.

It does make me wonder, however, why you even bother with him if you think he is a liar. Perhaps you don't mind him paying for your divorce? Perhaps you enjoy the look of that new ring on your finger? Perhaps the allure of a wealthy, older man is hard to resist? I'm not saying you're doing this for the money, but it could certainly look that way to some people.

Maybe he'll leave his wife; maybe he won't. That's the risk you take when you date a married man. And the rewards? Well, you already know what those are.

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